When it comes to Justin Tuck, no place for sentiment

Jim Mancari, Contributor

I am the first to admit that I would love all the Giants star players to play their entire careers in blue.

In my time being a fan, starting in the mid-1990s, Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber and Amani Toomer (though he did sign a deal with the Chiefs but was cut before the season) are the only Giants’ greats I remember that played their entire careers in New York.

Hopefully, we can say that about Eli Manning some day, but next up on that list is Justin Tuck, to build off the last post by John Fennelly.

Tuck is an unrestricted free agent, and there’s no doubt that the Giants would love to have his veteran leadership back. Not to mention he did put together a solid campaign in 2013.

But football is a young man’s game, and with the Giants facing plenty of tough decisions this offseason, it might be best to cut ties with Tuck – as difficult as that sounds.

Based on performance, Tuck could be in the market for a two- to three-year deal. Given his recent injury history with this team, do we want three more years of wondering whether or not he’ll play any given week?

Or would we rather see a youngster like Damontre Moore get the chance to prove what he can do along side a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul?

Tuck will be 31 very soon, so naturally his playing days are numbered. For one year at the right price, I would love to see big No. 91 sacking opposing quarterbacks for the Giants next season.

But it looks like the two-time Super Bowl champion won’t be accepting any hometown discounts. With that in mind, the Giants have plenty of other needs to worry about the sentiment attached to bringing back Tuck.

Linval Joseph is also an unrestricted free agent and would come at a significantly lower price than Tuck. A defensive line featuring a healthy JPP, Moore, Joseph, Cullen Jenkins and then Johnathan Hankins, Markus Kuhn and maybe Mathias Kiwanuka and Mike Patterson for depth would be serviceable.

So do I want Tuck back? Yes.

But do I want Tuck back for three more years at his price? No.

Unfortunately for fans, there is no place for sentiment in the NFL.

Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

A lot of circumstances will come into play for the Giants management regarding whether or not they re-sign Tuck. History tells us that the Giants organization has been very loyal to a handful of Giant players throughout their history. Tuck made $6M per year in his last contract and if he expects a similar contract, then my guess is that Tuck will be wearing a different uniform next season. However; if Tuck and the Giants can mutually come to an agreement that works for both sides; it wouldn't surprise me to see him back. The one advantage Tuck does have that the Giants like is the fact that he can play anyway along the DL; which makes him multi-dimensional. Another factor could involve Joseph, who will and should be one of the most sort after DT in free agency. If Joseph's demands become too expensive for the Giants, then expect Joseph to be wearing a different uniform; which would free up $$$ to possibly sign Tuck. However; it works both ways and if the Giants re-sign Joseph, I would say that the odds are extremely high that Tuck's career as a Giant is over.

Serge Marinkovic
Serge Marinkovic

Heartily agree he is an outstanding NY Giant but his two consecutive down years and this recent season slow start have me worried a lot.  If given a contract he will disappoint not because of his lack of anything other than his body has given all it can.  Its time for his dead money if resigned be used for the betterment of a younger and more athletic club not for namesake players.  There I said it he is a namesake player who should retire on top or resign with another club.

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

I think Linval Joseph gets more $ on the open market then Tuck does. He's younger and has more potential .